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By Mike Johnson on 2017-02-21 10:15:00

For those who have asked whether WWE was behind The Rock calling CM Punk last night in the ring after Raw went off the air, that would be a resounding No.  

As I reported last night in the Elite section of, it was simply something Rock did at the spur of the moment to pop the live crowd at the Staples Center.  We heard from multiple sources that WWE management did not appear to have been happy with Rock going in that direction with his live promo to the crowd in Los Angeles.  At one point, it appeared someone was sent to ringside to ask Rock to go in another direction.  At another point, a fan yelled they were going to turn his mic off and Rock responded, "They better not turn off my mic."

Obviously Punk and WWE remain at odds and have been since he walked out of the company in January 2014.  Punk would later claim that he did so because he was not well physically and would learn that he was suffering from a MRSA staph infection, which Punk alleged in his appearance on The Art of Wrestling podcast was ignored by a WWE doctor he described as "lazy."   He was also upset with not knowing how his pay could be hurt with WWE Network replacing traditional PPVs and with WWE not placing him in an official Wrestlemania main event, which for years had been his major remaining goal as a performer for the company.

WWE would send Punk termination papers on, as it turned out, his wedding day, which Vince McMahon later publicly apologized for during an edition of The Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network.  Punk would eventually come to some sort of legal agreement with the company to allow them to sell existing merchandise and a videogame that featured Punk's likeness and it appeared everyone would go their separate ways, but then Punk announced he was signing with UFC as a fighter.

WWE doctor Chris Amann would file a lawsuit against Punk and Cabana claiming they had slandered him, caused him personal harm and hurt his standing in the medical profession.  Amann, as of this writing, remains with WWE, although he has been downplayed as a public figure on WWE TV.  That lawsuit that is still pending and isn't expected to be resolved, based on court records, until at least the summer of 2018, when it is currently scheduled to go to trial.  

Punk has stated in media interviews and in court filings that the lawsuit is actually being funded by WWE as a way to get back at him for walking out of the company, something that WWE has publicly denied.  WWE, however, did post a video of Punk's back online, with the idea of showing that there was no lump on it, as Punk claimed when he told a story about a WWE doctor being too lazy to remove it, per Punk's requests.

WWE's Stephanie McMahon has also taken personal shots at Punk on TV in recent months, mocking how quickly he tapped out in his September 2016 UFC debut, making those comments in response to fans in Punk's hometown of Chicago chanting for him.  Punk had knocked her husband Triple H during his Cabana podcast appearance in November 2014. 

So, given all of that, one can understand why the company wasn't thrilled with Rock publicly putting over Punk in front of 15,000 fans in one of WWE's top markets, although it made for a "can you believe this?" moment that obviously energized the audience going into the film shoot, which was only going to help with reactions for the footage the production sought to capture.

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